Heart Attack Risks
However, not a lot of studies have been made on dietary patterns and incident heart failure in patients who didn’t have heart disease. (: Prevent diabetes with plant-based diets: It’s not just cutting sugar and carbs, it’s eating veggies and whole grains.)
Dietary habits and their risk for heart failureThe research team used the five major dietary patterns identified in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. Data from over 16,000 participants were included with a mean age of 64 years. Over a third of the participants lived in the southeastern U.S., often referred to as the stroke belt. A component analysis of the data included the completion of a 150-question survey based on 107 food items, which were categorized into the following:
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- Convenience – includes meat dishes, pasta, Mexican food, pizza, and fast food
- Plant-based – includes cruciferous vegetables and other vegetables, fruit, beans, and fish
- Sweets – includes desserts, sweetened breakfast foods, candy, solid fats and oils, and added sugars
- Southern – includes fried foods, added fats, sugary beverages, and processed foods
- Alcohol and salads – includes liquor and wine, leafy greens, and salad dressing
After an average follow-up period of 8.7 years, researchers found 363 new hospitalizations for heart failure.
Plant-based diet protects against unexpected heart failure
Multivariable analysis revealed that participants who stuck to a plant-based diet had lowered the risk of heart failure-related hospitalizations by 41 percent. Meanwhile, those who adhered to the Southern diet had increased their risk by 72 percent.
Top 7 Supplements for Heart Health
The team also found that the Southern diet can also increase heart failure risk through other factors such as obesity and excess abdominal fat. For other dietary patterns, the researchers did not find any statistically significant links with the risk of heart failure.In the study, they also evaluated subgroups of heart failure in the REGARD population. They noted 133 cases that preserved the ejection fraction, the amount of blood pumped out by the left ventricle during each contraction. In addition, 157 cases of heart failure featured reduced percentages of ejection fraction. However, the researchers saw no significant variances in this sub-group of systolic heart failure among the studied dietary patterns. “The need for population-based preventive strategies for heart failure is critical,” explained lead author Kyla Lara. “These findings support a population-based dietary strategy for lowering the risk of incident heart failure.”
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